Collecting watches is a very personal thing. It is an expressive extension of our personalities and choices – what works for someone does not work for others and hence buying a watch can result in some great additions to your collection. However, there comes a time for most of us when during the lifetime of collecting watches we decide to part with one or two (or often more).

This can happen for a number of reasons ranging from the pursuit of a grail watch where personal sacrifices need to be made, to realising that although we really like certain timepieces, we are just not wearing them much. This then represents a considerable investment that is not being used. In addition as we grow older we also typically gain more disposable income and learning from our experiences and changing tastes, find what used to be the unobtainable, within potential reach.

So how might you go about parting with your watches?

While many people use eBay, it’s business model is inherently designed to support buyers through lowering their risk. However selling on eBay isn’t quite so ‘risk free’. There is of course the risk of fraudulent or unscrupulous buyers claiming the watch is not genuine or claiming it has been returned and getting their money back through PayPal (as they are protected) and you never see the watch again. While this is not necessarily commonplace, it has happened on a number of occasions and as a seller it’s a risk you must be aware of. In addition, eBay requires quite an investment in time, and results often fall short of hopes and expectations. Lastly, the eBay and PayPal fees which are around 10% – which makes you ask the question why they take so much when you have to do all the hard work?

Risks, high fees and low prices are all issues sellers face on Ebay.

An alternative you may consider is part exchanging them for the watch you want with a pre-owned specialist, like Watchfinder for instance. While this can offer you a great level of convenience and I must say I have in the past personally chosen this method, they are in the business of selling pre-owned watches which means they need to have a margin in their sale, unlike selling directly to another collector. This means you will inherently not get the best value for your watches – which is the price you pay for convenience.

So what’s the alternative? Well you could choose to use a broker such as James from KibbleWatches.co.uk. Brokers work in much the same way that an estate agent does. They perform all the hard work in photographing, listing, promoting and selling your watch on your behalf for a small percentage of the sale. A key benefit of brokers is that they typically become well connected within the industry so they are able to draw upon those relationships in a way that you or I can’t.

This is the route I most recently took when I chose to part with a couple of my Tudors. I wanted to get the best realistic price possible for them as I was buying another hi-value piece. I didn’t have the time to create two eBay listings, write ups, photographs and then spend ages haggling with people wrongly trying to negotiate a price reduction because they’ve seen a worst condition watch with missing papers for cheaper elsewhere. So having met and spoken to James previously I gave him a call and asked to meet up.

James is well known within the intimate watch circles in London and further afield, so he has a lot to lose if his reputation becomes tarnished. This results in him being open, honest and friendly as his desire is for you to be as happy with the outcome as possible – happy customers are good business!

My experience was extremely straight forward, painless and surprisingly quick. I met with James in central London and we reviewed and discussed my two watches and my personal aspirations for what I might hope to achieve. This is an extremely important part as being realistic up front about their condition and value saves endless conversations and heartache later. He agreed that in this particular case, both watches were in extremely good condition and having the box, papers, hang-tags etc placed them as premium examples. We discussed and agreed what would be realistic to achieve for the watches as well as him gaining an understanding as to what the minimum I might hope to achieve for them. I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to get this step right. Having an unrealistic expectation of your watch’s worth can be crippling for you and the broker, as it results in watches that don’t sell. This means you don’t have funds freed up and the broker ends up promoting a watch he can’t find a new home for. No one wins. We also discussed and agreed a reasonable rate for commission. This will reflect the work that the broker has to put in to selling your watches including good photography, advertising and promoting them, leveraging contacts within the trade, negotiating on your behalf, and finally (and very importantly!…) acting as escrow ensuring cleared funds are received before parting with your watches. This critical step protects you as the seller from losing your watches through fraud.

From there I signed a consignment contract with James containing all the above details on it, and left him with my watches to photograph, promote and sell on my behalf through KibbleWatches.co.uk supporting this with promotions through a number of social media platforms.

Within a mere 7 days through contacts within the industry and previous customers James had successfully negotiated the price within the range we had previously discussed and agreed a sale. He then contacted me with the good news and arranged a bank transfer for the sale price (minus his previously agreed commission)

Overall I achieved a great price for both watches – higher than I would have achieved by part exchanging the watches through watchfinder, in a short time with no stress or hassle. What more could I ask for?

My experience was refreshingly simple & straightforward and as James is a knowledgeable collector himself, it felt more like chatting to an old friend rather than negotiating a business deal.

All in all I cannot recommend KibbleWatches.co.uk highly enough. If you are considering parting with a watch I would suggest you give him a call!

KibbleWatches contact details:
Website: www.kibblewatches.co.uk
Instagram: @kibblewatches
Mobile: 07786 515664

As I was travelling with work and ‘hopping’ time zones, I thought it would be a great opportunity to put a GMT through its paces as an ideal travel companion and as Christopher ward have recently released their new Trident GMT (or more specifically, “C60 Trident GMT 600 Mk 3”) it seemed a great opportunity to spend some time with this watch and see how it measures up.

First impressions are good. The case is well designed and put together, and you can see that ChristopherWard have taken care with the design. It’s available in two case sizes – 38mm and 42mm which will suit both smaller and larger wrist sizes. The top and sides of the case are brushed with a polished bevelled edge separating the two. The case design incorporates integrated crown guards that are slender but sufficient, and the ChristopherWard logo is embossed on the crown itself. Overall, the watch feels solid, well designed and good quality for the price

Turning the watch over reveals the caseback which has a beautifully engraved trident seal. It’s not laser engraved but deeply pressed into the caseback much in the same way that the ‘Hippocampus’ is engraved on the caseback of Omegas Seamaster range. In addition, there are 6 slots that form part of the design but are clearly there for a specialist case back opener.

The dial is polished and features applied markers that hold a healthy amount of Grade X1 GL C1 Super-LumiNova® which is new for ChristopherWard. The hands also show an attention to detail with the counterbalance of the second hand also featuring the signature ‘Trident’ design, and the GMT hand in orange being a smaller iteration of the hour hand. They’re sharp and all contain a healthy application of lume.

In addition, the hybrid rubber+fabric strap has been well thought through. The underside features channels to allow moisture to escape and as a nice touch it also has the ChristopherWard logo moulded into the design. The top of the strap features a cordura layer allowing the watch to have the practicalities of a rubber strap while maintaining the look of a fabric strap. The brushed buckle is signed and the strap includes quick release spring bars – allowing the owner to quickly change straps tool-free (which is great while travelling).

As a watch the trident is a competent timepiece. It’s rated to 600m which is far beyond the demands that any recreational diver will place on it. It has a simple design aesthetic that works well and Its unfussy and well built. So where do things start to come unstuck? Well it feel like the marriage of the two functions has compromised both. Lets start with the bezel.

The action is good and the teeth on the sides allow an easy grip for turning it. The size of the bezel shows a well thought out integration with the size and aesthetic of the watch case, and the ceramic blue insert is vibrant with the 24 hour markers filled with Super-LumiNova make it easy to read by day or night. However, It’s unidirectional which would imply it’s for monitoring dive times but there are no minute markers on the bezel for monitoring dive times as its inscribed with the 24 hour markers for the GMT hand. This means the bezel’s useless for divers and frustrating to use with the GMT hand as it doesn’t rotate in both directions. This was clearly not well thought through.

In truth, many other manufacturers also exhibit one of these two problems. Tudors BlackBay GMT and Omega’s PlanetOcean GMT (amongst many others) also cannot measure dive time as their bezels are populated with 24 hour markers. However they do have bi-directional bezels meaning they can easily allow the wearer to track multiple time zones. So in reality they are first and foremost GMT watches that are built to survive deep water immersion rather than being proper divers watches.

However, in the case of the Trident GMT, the movement is also fundamentally flawed in its operation as a GMT but this is a little more complicated to explain..

In an integrated GMT movement architecture, the movement works a little differently. Firstly the movement drives three hands for the main timekeeping but these are not what you would expect. They are the seconds, minutes, and the 24 hour hand (often referred to as the GMT hand) rather than the normal 12 hour hand. This allows the primary reference time to be constant and is all set with the watch as if adjusting the time as normal (by pulling the crown out two positions causing the watch to ‘hack’ or stop). In addition to this but independently set is an additional 12 hour hand that is also connected to the date wheel. This allows the wearer to quickly adjust the hour hand forwards or backwards an hour at a time, and where it crosses the 12 o’clock position at midnight, it moves the date forward or backwards as required. This is the only way of setting the date on a GMT. Yes that’s right, on a purpose designed GMT movement, you can wind the hour hand backwards and if it crosses the midnight position it will happily wind the date backwards one day.

To a user the whole process of operating it is extremely easy. The watch will run with the reference time set and when crossing time zones simply pull out the crown one position and move the hour hand forward or backwards one hour at a time without stopping the watch ensuring accurate timekeeping is maintained.

Christoper Ward have chosen to use the ETA 2893 modular GMT movement to power the C60 Trident GMT. I can understand why Christopher ward would want to do this – ETA are a massive movement maker that supply a variety of complications to suit watchmakers worldwide with a proven reliability, easy servicing and a brand recognition that allows them to sell a watch with a Swiss movement. However In order to build a modular movement you need to not only operate the primary timekeeping functions of the watch but also provide a connection to deliver power to the additional module. This allows the base movement to be used as a timekeeping movement in its own right (in this case on its own it is the ETA 2892-2 base movement), and for its functionality to be extended depending on which module is fitted on top. This means that the module on top (in this case ETAs GMT module) has to run the 24 hour hand but it also has be able of being independently set. This is done buy pulling out the crown to the first position and instead of winding the crown backwards to advance the date, you have to wind it forward to move the GMT hand forward by an hour at a time. This is the direct opposite of how you expect a GMT to work where the GMT hand maintains a constant (Showing the time at the Greenwich Meridian) and the local time is adjusted independantly.

It means that every time you move to a different time zone you have to…

  1. Pull the crown out two positions stopping the watch, adjust the time of the watch to the new time zone moving all the hands on the watch (NOT back past midnight) and having to use another reference time as now the watch has stopped so it’s no longer accurate.
  2. Next push the crown back in one position and wind the crown forwards to return the GMT hand back to where it should be.
  3. Next wind the crown backwards to advance the date (if necessary) all the way round 30 positions (if retarding the time causes you to pass midnight and hence now showing the previous day).
  4. Lastly press the crown in again to finish setting the time and date and screw the crown down ensuring its water tight once again.

As you can see this is extremely frustrating and you only have to do this a couple of times to realise how flawed this movement architecture is. Frequent travellers will quickly become disillusioned with a GMT like this.

I must point out that this is not a criticism of Christopher ward – they don’t produce movements themselves and have to buy these in from a supplier. The experience here will be exactly the same for other manufacturers who all rely on ETA to supply them with a GMT movement.

With this in mind I feel here that the marriage of both a divers watch and GMT have been fundamentally compromised. You cant measure dive time on it, and you cant easily switch time zones.

As I returned from my trip I was deeply torn. At face value its specified well and the build quality is great. Had this been purely a focused divers watch, with a gratuated dive-time bezel, It would have been hard to fault. However, the main selling point of the watch is as a GMT and in this regard its exasperating to use! There is one thing that the trip has taught me – the value of a properly designed and integrated GMT movement architecture!

Links to items in this article:
ChristopherWard Trident GMT

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